1893 S&CSL

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Sandusky & Columbus Short Line

Photo of the Month - October 2014 (revised)

The Stang Brewing Co. in Sandusky with a Sandusky & Columbus Short Line gondola in view.   Photo from the Jon Marx Collection.

        The photo dates back to 1893 when the Sandusky & Columbus Short Line Railroad was placed in service between its named cities. The S&CSL did not retain that name for long. It joined forces (but did not merge) with the Columbus Shawnee & Hocking Railroad to provide a complete route from the coal fields of Southeastern Ohio to Lake Erie. Together the two railroads became known as the Columbus Sandusky & Hocking Line. In 1902 the lines were separated with the S&CSL going to the Pennsylvania Railroad and the Columbus Shawnee & Hocking Railroad going to the Zanesville & Western. The track from East Columbus to Thurston would soon come under the control of the Toledo & Ohio Central Railroad.

A close up of the S&CSL gondola.

        Getting back to the photo, it was taken at the Stang Brewing Co. in Sandusky and shows a S&CSL gondola car. While the Stang Brewery was serviced by the Big Four and not the S&CSL it is still a rare opportunity to see an S&CSL freight car.

        In the close up of gondola No. 9548, note that it is all wood with link and pin couplers. Wood cars would take a beating hauling coal and their life was hard. When steel railroad cars were introduced in the 1890s it soon became apparent steel and wood cars did not mix well in freight train service. It has been reported the all wood cars had a high failure rate. Many wood cars were retrofitted with steel underframes others had to be scrapped. We don’t know the fate of No. 9548. It may not have lasted until that 1902 takeover by the PRR when the line became known as the PRR-Sandusky Branch.

An earlier view of the Stang Brewing Co.   Photo from the Jon Marx Collection.